How I made $3000 USD this month playing video games


Hi friendly readers, it’s been a while since I’ve written a new post. I blame Covid. It’s hard being a travel blogger writing about retirement spots, if I can’t travel.


Earth2, launched in November as a brand new up and coming game. They are a tiny little start up with a lot of big names on their team. Game link

The goal of the game is to create, a sim city style game, with users building up a brand new Earth to play on. Imagine, megacities, pirate islands, nightclubs etc.

BUT HOW DO I MAKE MONEY? There are a lot of ways.

  • Land income taxes
  • Sale of property
  • And eventually resources
  • And eventually micro transactions from new players

This month, playing Earth 2, I made $3000 USD and $32000 in earth2 tiles.

FOR REAL? Yes, some people including me were really sceptical. But this game has paid me $3000 and it’s happily sitting in my TD bank account in Canada (I used it for a lump payment on my mortgage, knocking 5 months off the amortization).

WAIT YOU SAID YOU MADE $3000 AND $32000 IN TILES. WHAT IS A TILE? Earth2 works like this, there are phases in which the game is being built. The first phase, players buy a tile. A 10×10 tile when I started in the game was .10 cents USD. You can fund this payment with PayPal.

I started with an initial buy of $20. After watching the price of those tiles increase, I bought another $1000. At this point, I was a little nervous. $1000 is a whole months budget for me. (Remember our mutual goal is to find the best countries to retire cheap for $1000 a month.)

So…..a week passes, and these $1000 worth of tiles that I’ve bought has grown in value to $4000. Soooo, I’m like….sell sell selll! I’ve got to see if this whole thing is a giant scam.

To cash out, you HAVE to sell your tiles to another player. To make it easy the game has a market place. You list your tiles for sale, and wait till someone buys it. I listed my tiles for 30% off what they were worth and sold $1600 worth! I was all like “Muhahhaaha, off to the bank I go.”

The withdrawal process isn’t as easy as hitting withdraw from PayPal. You have to provide a lot of banking info to the game via credits@earth2.

Your full legal name, current address, account name, email address (which should match your account email address), exact bank account name, account number, phone number, amount you wish to receive and any relevant information for international transfer to your bank account. Also confirm that your bank can received USD as all payments will be sent in USD. Please note to have these details correct before sending. All payments are processed via a filtration service with financial licenses and those services do run checks for us on all provided details as we do not want Earth 2 breaking any AML or financial compliance laws. If you provide incorrect information and the payment is rejected, there may be additional costs.

Aha! That’s where the trick is! Like every other project, there are jerks and jackasses who play a game who try to exploit glitches. The withdrawal process takes a while to process because they have to check that your withdrawal is legitimate.

It took me two weeks, and my withdrawal kept bouncing and not arriving in my TD bank account. (Let me point out this was 100% not Earth2 being jerk bags. It was me.) I have no idea, what my IBAN or Swift code is. In fact, the first time I think I even gave them the wrong bank account number (….you know how you have a short number and a long number for your account.)

… after 2 weeks I was like, screw this. There has to be an easier way. That’s when I learned about Transferwise. Transferwise is the easiest way to wire money internationally. And it’s what Earth2 uses. So…..I got the free Transferwise (It’s like PayPal).

So, I wrote Earth2 and said….hey here’s my Transferwise. Boom! Money in my account in 4 days. START HERE FOR YOUR FREE TRANSFERWISE. YOU GET $500 FREE TRANSFER. So, yes, if you plan to withdraw, get that Transferwise, or you also might get stuck in bank limbo.

So now that I’ve explained what Earth2 is, and how to get the money out, lets talk about some of the most crucial parts of the game.



BUYING TILES: There are 2 ways of buying tiles, on the marketplace and directly from the map. If you buy from the map you’ll pay what the price of a new tile is. Each country is a different price. For example you might get a tile in Canada for $6.76 or East Timor for .41 cents.

WAIT WHAT?! WHY WOULD I WANT TO BUY IN EAST TIMOR? CANADA IS THE BEST! Well the reason for this is that, it’s up to you. Remember at this point the whole city building part of the game hasn’t been released yet. You are speculating at this point. Will people build a whole mega city in East Timor? If they do, then you’re going to make serious coin. Or will people stick to what they know and build in Canada/USA/Italy/Japan?

Nobody knows at this point. But one thing that is VITAL for new players to know is that ALL man made structures on EARTH will be wiped out before the game starts. So if you buy a giant stadium, you are not buying the stadium. You are buying the land the stadium is on.

DOES THAT MEAN I SHOULDN’T BUY STADIUMS AND MONUMENTS? According to the developers “ We are not sure what will happen when building starts in Earth 2 and we are very excited to see how things pan out, essentially people could build a city in the middle of the desert (like Las Vegas) which could be very interesting we feel! Having said that, we do have future plans which will “bridge” a link between corresponding places in the real world and Earth2, these links will, in our opinion, offer more revenue opportunities for popular locations visited by people in the real world.”

WAIT. SO. THE ANSWER IS MAYBE? Kinda, maybe yeah. Remember this is all speculation.

There are only 2 certainties.

1. Your land tile you buy will go up in price as people buy. In the month I’ve been playing I haven’t seen any price drops. If the price does drop it lasts at most a day.

2.You need to buy smart.

WHAT IS BUYING SMART? If I were you starting the game I’d buy the following combination.

SO I SHOULD JUST LOTS OF RESOURCE LAND? Yes….but with 1 caveat. Remember to always buy Class 1 or 2. Do not buy Class 3 or Class 4. Another way you can make money in this game is Land income tax (LIT). At the time of writing this most places in new tile are class 2.

WHERE ELSE SHALL I BUY? I’d also recommend buying in megacity areas. A megacity is an area where a lot of users have bought in a certain area, versus all over the place. The reason for this is during phase 2, it might be easier to mine resources from areas where there are a lot of properties near by. Also having people nearby means they will also buy and develop properties near you. Having a tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere might not be that useful. Again this is all speculation as nobody knows for sure.

ANY MORE ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT RULES? Yes use a referral code. Mine is EYD2O9KDM4

The reason for using a referral code is that it gets you 5% off ALL new tile buys. (I get a 5% bonus too!)

WAIT! I JUST TRIED TO BUY IN DUBAI BUT IT SAYS NOT AVAILABLE. Yeah for religious religions some areas are locked down.

Last important rule. WATCH out for Scammers. There are some real scumbags, who try to trick newbies. I’ve already told you to ALWAYS IGNORE MARKET PRICE AND LOOK AT NEW TILE PRICE. The other common scam is they will change their name to “JerkyMcgee is bidding $5900” so you might get a bid notification on your property. And you’ll think, whoa someone is bidding $5900 on my property worth $200. They aren’t, the real bid is $0.01, you can see that if you read carefully. But because they’ve changed their name, you might be tricked into thinking they are bidding $5900. My advice is NOT to accept any bids until you are comfortable in the game.

Hopefully you all have success in the game. Remember not to put in more than you can afford. And if you have any questions feel free to message me! My current properties are there for you to look at so you can have a good idea of what a portfolio looks like.

Good luck and remember if you want tips on the best countries to retire cheap HEAD HERE

How I made $3000 USD this month playing video games2021-01-30T12:09:14+00:00

3 Great Restaurants under $5 in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Finding great food is 50% of the reason that I travel around looking the best countries to retire cheap. As you know, I love Siem Reap, Cambodia. Last year, it was #2, on my best countries to retire cheap list. LINK TO CURRENT PLACES TO RETIRE CHEAP and it might make #1 this year.

One reason, Siem Reap appears constantly on the best countries to retire list is the abundance of GREAT food. As an international hub, you’ll find quite a bit of variety for food. Chinese, Mexican, English, Thai, Malay, Indian….they’ve got enough great affordable restaurants to make this a place to come just to eat.

The fried dumplings at Old Beijing Dumpling House are delicious!

Old Beijing Dumpling House: This is a MUST GO if you like dumplings. While they have other Chinese food on their menu, I highly recommend the steamed or fried dumplings. Seriously, with the word “Dumpling” in the title, you’d be a fool to get something else. When a friend of mine suggested it, I was like, “Dumplings? I love dumplings…. but I’m also super fussy about dumplings as I’ve eaten them in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Richmond.” It’s not a fancy place, but some of the best street food I’ve had often comes from unassuming places. These were some of the BEST dumplings I’ve ever had in the world. Every batch is hand made, and the price is $3 for 13 dumplings. That’s right…..under 30 cents a dumpling! They are a mom/pop shop, and make them fresh, so EXPECT at least a 20 minute wait after you order your dumplings…… (HINT:If you’re going to eat multiple orders of dumplings, order the second plate when the first one appears….so you never run out).

Bread and Bubble:This little gem of a store is a cozy sandwich shop. It made the list, because of it’s authentic Vietnamese Banh Mi. I’ve spent months in Vietnam, and one of the main reasons to go is for Banh Mi. Until I tried Bread and Bubble in Siem Reap, I’ve never found another restaurant that makes a decent Banh Mi outside of Vietnam. (Don’t even get me started about the crappy ones I’ve had in Ecuador.) This place is also crazy cheap, averaging $2 for a delicious banh mi, made with fresh baguette.

Banh mi at Bread and Bubble

Temple Design Restaurant: This is part of the Temple group, and if you’re in Siem Reap, I swear you are going to see something from Temple Group every few blocks. From restaurants, to nightclubs, to hotels they have an imprint everywhere. What that means, is it has impeccable standards. Ive been to several of the Temple restaurants and they always have great service, beautifully presented food and 50 cent draft. If you want to try Khmer food this is where I’d go. The presentation and the food will truly impress. Most places in Siem Reap if you’re going for Khmer food will just just serve it slapped on a dish. Here they actually work just as hard on the plating and presentation as the food itself. It’s Instagram heaven for food photography. Bonus tip: They take credit card here!

Try Khmer food at Temple

There is a lot of food to go try in Siem Reap, and I’m going to endeavor to go eat at ALL the great places. If you know a fantastic place, that didn’t make this list, let me know in the comments! And as always have a great time looking for the best food in the world!

3 Great Restaurants under $5 in Siem Reap, Cambodia2020-06-15T09:44:14+00:00

Fostering Animals in Cambodia

If you’re looking for the best countries to retire cheap, you might want to have some furry companionship. When I left Canada, my ex girlfriend took our cats, and I’ve been a solitary wanderer ever since.

In Siem Reap, Cambodia there are a ton of stray animals. If you’re going to be in a city for a while (like I normally am), I’d recommend getting a hold of a foster society to adopt some animals while you’re in town.

I reached out on Facebook to a wonderful society called, Animals of Our World. They are strictly non profit, volunteer run group that helps take care of animals in Siem Reap FACEBOOK LINK TO THEIR PAGE

They brought 2 kitties for me, which I promptly named Goblin and Scout. We had them cleaned and vaccinated and now I have 2 new guests in my hotel room! (A lot of places will allow you to have a pet if you ask).

I donated some cat food to their organization, and paid for the first round of vaccines, but it’s strictly a voluntary donation. Frankly, I love being able to help!

Now the two little fuzz balls are crawling all over the place, and this article is taking way longer to write, because they insist in helping!

Scout, is watching vigilantly!

So, why not foster an animal while you look for the best countries to retire cheap? Do it! Do it!

Fostering Animals in Cambodia2020-04-15T02:34:58+00:00

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Las Vegas as a Flight Hub.

My home city of Edmonton, Alberta is a great city, but it’s not a great flight hub.

Most of the flights I use to explore the best countries to retire cheap require a stop in a different city along the way. Edmonton, isn’t a flight hub like Toronto’s. There are very few direct/economical flights.

Here’s 3 reasons why you should choose Las Vegas for a flight hub.

1. It’s a great airport, especially compared to LAX or Vancouver.

2. It’s a pretty great place to stay for cheap/free for a few days.

3. It usually costs you nothing in extra plane fare. My flight to Asia from Edmonton was $600. A flight to Vegas from Edmonton, and then Vegas to Asia, $610. So instead of doing the 17 hour flight with a few gross layovers, I fly into Las Vegas, stay a few days (I like the buffets), and then direct to Asia.

Here’s the best way to stay on the cheap in Vegas.

1. Grab some free apps.

These apps are all free, and provide actual comps in Vegas.

Hotel rooms, shows and food are all on there.

I’ve done this trip a whole bunch of times, and it’s not a scam.

Is it totally free? Yes.

How does it work?

And why isn’t everybody doing it?

1. It’s completely free, but you have to click the apps at least one time a day to get the free stuff.

2. It’s not instant. It takes me about 1 year to collect enough loyalty points to get my free trip.

3. A lot of people don’t really want to spend the time getting the free loot. I’ve told hundreds of people, and most think it’s a great idea. But 3 months later? They’ve stopped clicking the free money button.

4. They think Las Vegas is all about gambling, strippers or partying. Not me, for me it’s going to be 3 days of lying by the pool, free bud lights and buffets. (I might also hit the gyms.)

5. They have serious gambling problems. I get it, some people cannot be in that environment without blowing a lot of money. If you are that way, do not use Las Vegas as a flight hub, they even have slot machines at the airport.

Total cost for 3 days in Vegas with my plan?

1. Hotel: Staying at the Wynn with the Wynn App (Free: No Resort fees either!)

2. Food (Eating on Freemont with 4 Queens and Binions app) Free. Between the two apps, I have about $70, for my upcoming trip

3. Entertainment: MyVEGAS apps (there are 4 of them) for Cirque Du Soleil, Shark Reef and Wax Museum. Again Free.

4. Groupon & YELP: Want to do more? Go grab some Groupons ahead if you like, or YELP has a bunch of check in offers too.

So, book that trip! Go to Vegas. And have a great time, looking for the best countries to retire cheap.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Las Vegas as a Flight Hub.2020-03-18T00:47:32+00:00

Getting to Cambodia: Step by Step guide

Siem Reap, Cambodia is one of my most favorite places in the world to retire cheap.

How do you get there? And what steps do you need to take?

Are there tips?

You bet.

1. Book your flight. When booking your flight try to avoid flying into America. Or if you’re American, try to avoid any stops in a different American city.

The main reason for this is because, each time you stop in America, even when transiting, you have to go through their security again.

Yup. You wind up going back out with the people who haven’t already been screened. And screened again.

This is going to take up a lot of extra time and hassle.

2. Pack light. I know you might be retiring forever and bringing everything with you. Remember you’re going to Asia, they make a lot of stuff here. And have pretty much everything you’re going to need.

Right now I travel with a carry on, and a small backpack for gear.

3.Choice of airlines is up to you. But I really like Singapore Air. During the flight, it’s unlimited booze, snacks and meals. Also the flight attendants are really nice. Believe me, I’m cheap as balls but, if I have a flight that’s similar in cost, or even more expensive I’ll choose Singapore Air vs Air Canada or any American company. This trip I voluntarily chose a 13 hour stopover in Singapore, because it’s airport is one of the nicest in the world

Sunflower Garden in Changi Airpor

After getting onto the plane, you’ll want to have a pen. They’ll give you several customs forms to fill out.

When you land, you’ll need to pass these forms to the customs agent, and then head to the Visa on Arrival area (for Canadians). The Visa on Arrival cost was $35 USD (have crisp bills, no crumpling, tears, or wear).

Then head to passport control. Be warned Cambodians are super nice, But customs are kinda rude.

After you get through that, (it should take about 30 minutes.) head outside for a taxi/tuk tuk. If you’re smart you’ve already downloaded the Pass App. Pass is the Cambodian Uber. If not, a tuk tuk into town should cost you abut $5 (USD). If you’ve made some friends on the airplane ride, you guys can always share one. As long as they live near pub street, you’re also going to be close. (I’m assuming you’ve also booked near Pub Street.

And that’s it! You’re in Cambodia! Enjoy

1 Hour after the plane lands, I’m in a pool with a 50 cent beer in hand

Getting to Cambodia: Step by Step guide2020-03-13T04:45:48+00:00

Are you TOO stupid to retire cheap in a different country?

Do you know people who are envious of your plans to retire cheap?

On one hand, they say things like “Wouldn’t it be great if I could retire?” And on the other hand they say “$500, pshaw who wants that….that’s like coffee for a month or two.” (I’m not even kidding, these people spend $300 a month at Starbucks….and don’t see why they can’t save enough to retire).

These people are idiots. They are complete wastes of brain cells: wandering around disguised as humans with brains.

Seems harsh? Yeah. I thought so too, until I ran into some real waste of skin, while I did a hiatus in North Carolina.

To be clear, there is NOTHING WRONG with a traditional North American retirement. (Also to be clear, I met some awesome people in North Carolina ….Go Tarheels!)

And one of my BEST friends in the world is from Raleigh (Home of the best biscuits.)

There is nothing wrong with TRADITIONAL retirement.

Seriously, do it, retire normally…….it won’t bug me.

But, you ARE NOT allowed to whine and complain all the time about how impossible it is.

Here’s the thing. A traditional retirement is pretty easy.

Save the money. Retire.

Now some of you, my dear readers, might say….”It’s not that easy.””


It’s like losing weight is easy.

“Don’t eat too much, and exercise

If you’re here, (unless somehow the search engines and cookies have tricked you), you are looking for the best countries to retire cheap. I’m glad to provide tips on how you can find a little place where you can retire cheap. Which country will you pick? I don’t know. But I’ve got a ton of articles for you to look at find out.


On your journey, you’ll find a ton of people who will be helpful and supportive of your goals. But, you’ll also run into EVEN more people who think your idea is crazy coocoo puffs. Ignore those jerks, and naysayers.

But how do you, my faithful readers of, spot these air breathing waste of time type of humanoids?

Here’s what I’ve found!

1. They generally have never travelled outside of their own country.

2. If they have, it’s been to an “all inclusive” resort.

3. They have no idea about safety or watching themselves. Usually, they expect big brother to be protecting them somehow.

4. Do they say things like “OH IT’S SUPER DANGEROUS XYZ COUNTRY?” Yeah, every country is dangerous…and obviously some more than most (I’m looking at you Colombia). But if you practice common sense you will be fine.

Yeah those people are ignorant and shortsighted, but do not let them get you down..

You can do this!!!!!

There are a ton of people just like you who’ve already taken that step.

You’re reading blogs, getting info, and preparing… you’re already on your way to living in the best countries to retire cheap.

Remember life is short. Tick tick.

I hope you find the best countries to retire cheap in.

I hope you liked this article, and if you know somebody who also would like it? Share. It!

Are you TOO stupid to retire cheap in a different country?2020-02-17T18:16:16+00:00

I’ve been away from home for 4 years. Here’s what I’ve learned.

I’ve been on the road for 4 years now trying to find the best countries to retire cheap and here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The world is a big place. Things that are so important and newsworthy in North America aren’t all REALLY that big a deal. (Things like gender politics, elections and crazy new tech gadgets still occupy my mind, but it doesn’t play such a big role in my psyche anymore.)
  • I love travelling. I also hate not having a home.
  • People are strange, both good and bad. I’ve made some great new friends like my hosts in Cebu, and a yoga teacher from Germany.
  • That it’s easy to lose weight just by eating less. I’ve lost 15lbs in 6 months, just by not snacking and drinking less. There wasn’t any calorie counting. I just ate the same portions at street stalls as the other patrons.
  • That there are a lot of travellers who are traveling just to “find themselves”. One guy I met had sold everything at 25 years of age and has been on the road for 5 years.
  • That I hate squat toilets. I can use them, but I hate them. I also learned to appreciate the fact that public toilets in North America always have toilet paper.
  • I don’t need a bunch of stuff to make me happy. I sold all my toys, from motorcycles to a Fallout pip boy and never have I missed them.
  • That you should always have a travel journal. Even though I share tips and articles here with you on, I have lots of private (and usually boring) thoughts too.
  • Muslim countries aren’t all that repressive and horrible. The women seem happy and I wonder about how biased I got from western media. Shariah law exists but in Kuala Lumpur you have to be a Muslim for it to apply.
  • I miss red meat (especially steaks) but I don’t need it. Please go for steaks with me in Alberta!
  • That eggs in Asia are delicious and we are doing it wrong in North America.
  • That mass transit works. Coming from a city where mass transit is stuck in the dark ages and inefficient I never really grasped how great a city that has it is.
  • It’s important to speak multiple languages. English is still the predominant travel language in most of the world. My Cantonese is useful , and I’ve learned Spanish. I wish I spoke French, Thai and Russian. You really cannot connect with people as if you can’t speak a persons native language.
  • That hookers can have a heart of gold. Watching one working girl spending hours gently taking care of a passed out backpacker on Khao San road really opened my eyes.
  • That I need to keep travelling just to eat delicious food.
  • My blog is making money. I’m making about $1 a day. It’s not much but I’m still surprised it’s working.
  • I like hot days and don’t miss snow. Maybe a little snow would be nice, but not freezing my butt off while waiting for my car to warm up.
  • I don’t love the constant 30 degree heat, it would be great if it was 20 something degrees.
  • I started my blog and my trip trying to find the perfect place to retire cheap, but I still haven’t found it. I’ve started returning to places I love though.
  • That my friends who stay in contact with me while I’m out of country are the ones I I’m really appreciative of. (You know who you are, my lovely bunch of pals!)
  • I’ve had and passed a kidney stone. They suck. I never want to drink mineral water again. And that any country I retire in had better have good health care.
  • That I’m still me when I travel. I hate camping. I don’t care how nice the views are, I’ll take an air conditioned room versus any glorious nature view.
  • That cameras do not work in hot hot heat. My camera craps out if I expose it to the blistering sun too long, and all the batteries die.
  • Sunscreen. I never want to be as peeling and sunburnt ever again. Oceans are much hotter than cities. They may feel all nice and cool but secretly they are burning you into a red peeling itchy crisp.
  • That the world isn’t logical. It just is! Just deal with it.
  • That 20 something girls traveling from around the world act like 20 something girls in North America.
  • I started my trip, with so much stuff that I didn’t need. I’m down to 1 carryon worth of stuff.
  • I no longer hate Monday’s. Not having a schedule or work is indeed awesome.

I hope this article helped you with your introspective quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)

I’ve been away from home for 4 years. Here’s what I’ve learned.2020-01-28T02:11:12+00:00

Five things I wish I had known before I started traveling to find the best countries to retire cheap.

I thought I pretty much had a handle on this whole situation when I decided to stop living a “normal” life. . I was wrong. Here’s 5 things I WISH I had known.


My first year, I bought a one way ticket to Asia and thought, who knew how long I’d be? That was a mistake. After 6 months, I got crazy lonely and homesick. I’d recommend a 6 month tour for your first trip. I know 6 months doesn’t seem that long of a time especially when a plane ticket is roughly $900 Canadian.


Seriously in my head, I packed like I was going both to an outdoor camping trip, and an apocalyptic wasteland. They sell socks, and shirts in your new country. You don’t have to pack it all. My first trip I had a wheelie suitcase full of stuff, a carry on full of stuff and a small secondary bag, also full of stuff.

You have to remember that where you’re going isn’t THAT different. If you’re the type of person who packs a huge amount of stuff for a 3 day trip (hair curling iron/blow dryer?), then you’re going to regret it.


If you’re retiring cheap, and not moving around quickly, you won’t actually take that many flights. I like to spend at least 1 month per country and 3 is my preference.

Still, if you follow my plan you’ll probably hate it when you get charged $30 extra for that giant suitcase for a “checked luggage fee”. Remember in South East Asia, you can fly to a new country for about $140. That extra $30 is thirty lunches or 5 massages.


In Vietnam, I’ve had money just not appear, even though the ATM has charged it out of my bank account. I’ve had my card eaten in Bangkok. And in every country there’s usually a $5 service fee. This is a fee on top of the $5 your home bank charges.

If you’re lucky, your home bank doesn’t charge a fee. But still it sucks. Some countries like Argentina, only allow you to take out $200 a time. So that’s brutal.

It’s best to bring cash and exchange it. It sucks that the Canadian dollar isn’t taken anywhere. American is at least accepted in some countries like Ecuador, where it’s the official currency.


Have at least two credit cards, I prefer an American Express Gold and the TD Travel Visa. They both give things like, trip insurance, and other travel related benefits. I was shocked to find out another digital nomad friend of mine was using a card that just gave Amazon points! Saying that, some countries like Vietnam aren’t that credit card friendly, while other countries like Chile you can get by using your card most of the time.

Why two types of cards? Sometimes an airline website just won’t take a type of card randomly. I know it SAYS you can. It just will sit there trying, until it says, “cannot book.” I’ve called the cards and talked to them, saying “Hey, I’m travelling make sure my card works in XYZ country.” This still doesn’t solve the issue a lot of time. Most of the time it’s the sub par airline website’s fault.

I hope these tips are helpful for you, and I wish I had known them before I started roaming the world as a digital nomad! If you want more feel free to head to my FB and bug me there.

Five things I wish I had known before I started traveling to find the best countries to retire cheap.2019-11-06T00:50:30+00:00

Can you retire cheap in Mendoza, Argentina?

Mendoza is known for it’s great meat and wine but can you retire cheap here?

The short answer is no you cannot retire cheap here.

If you retire cheap it won’t be in Mendoza, Argentina.

You will however think you’ve died and gone to heaven if you like beef, wine and bicycles.

Getting here from Valparaíso, Chile is easy.


You just have to get a comfy bus from CATA. They sell the tickets online, and at Terminal Sol.

TIP: The CATA bus you can buy the CAMA levels, which is a 160 degree reclining seat. They don’t have a full recline bed seat, but it’s pretty comfy.

On the bus you’ll get a meal box, so you don’t have to bring food …. maybe a few snacks

Then the dreaded border crossing occurs.

Not too bad, more of a boredom crossing.

You’ll wait about 5 hours, behind all the other busses as you exit the Chile crossing. Then you’ll drive a bit, and get to the Argentina entry point.

They’ll unload the bus, and check random passenger bags.

TIP: The people who are unloading all the bags will expect some small change as a tip. Have some pesos readily available.

Then after a few more hours you’ll be in Mendoza!

Mendoza has one of the most beautiful bus terminals I’ve ever seen.

I cannot think of a better one. Unlike most of the bus terminals I’ve seen, this one is super safe and clean with lots of stores. (Unlike the one in Arequipa, Peru which looks like you’ll be murdered getting in.) It looks like a modern airport terminal, rather than a decrepit bus terminal from the 80’s.

TIP: Get a phone card here. There’s a kiosk that will sell you a prepaid phone card. About $12 should do it.

TIP: Change money here. Argentina even though it’s super developed is oddly not that credit card friendly. Chile is much more so. In Chile we could use credit cards 50% of the time. Here it’s 20% of the time. You can change money at the Turbus kiosk. You’ll have people asking to change your money inside the terminal, go with one you trust, with the best interest rate.

TIP: They offered the same rate as the real cambio downtown, it was 43:1 USD:Peso if you gave them big bills.

If you are giving them small bills 20’s and under they give you 40:1. Obviously don’t do that.

You’re going to want to change money because the ATMS are brutal. Huge fee’s and low withdrawal limits.

The banks are even worse.

We tried twice to get money exchanged. It’s awful. Long lines, and all in bad. They close at 1pm, and don’t do money exchange.

(We tried HSBC and Bank of Argentina.)

Eventually we found a Cambio house to exchange our cash.


The food here is wonderful, but it’s not cheap. The price of a cheese pizza is $8 (all prices in Canadian).

The cost of this meal was $30 for 2 ribeyes and a bottle of wine. (Don’t forget the tip here is expected at 10%.)

I know this is super cheap compared to Canada.

And the beef and wine are really really good.

I’m from Alberta and know my beef. The Argentinian beef is great. And if you love wine? The $7 bottle was the equivalent of $20 bottle back home.

Saying that though, my budget for daily living is $15 a day, so I can’t afford steak and wine every day.

(Here’s how to order your doneness level in Spanish)

I found a brand of cheap wine I loved, that I bought at VEA (like a Walmart), it was under $3 for a 1.2 liter bottle.

Cooking meat at home also was much cheaper.

You can see that it averages out at about $5 for one of these packages.

Vegetables are pricier, almost the same price as back home.

There are lots of vegetarian restaurants and gluten friendly choices in Mendoza.

There aren’t cheap menu del Dias meals though, unlike in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru.

On average I’d say the food here is 50% more expensive than those countries.


These were the itemized costs. One thing to note, taxis, I used Cabify, versus the normal taxis. Also all meals and things should be divided by 2 because I was traveling with my travel buddy.


Mendoza is super safe. I don’t see any problems here. Obviously, take common sense precautions, but it’s just like back home.


Non existent, just like the rest of South America. They also speak a strange dialect of Spanish, so even though I can speak a basic travel Spanish, it was really difficult here.


This is another area where Mendoza stands out. I signed up for the Mendoza tennis club. It allows access to a great gym and tennis for $40 a month.

As I’ve travelled the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap, I’ve noticed that I’ve been in 3rd world countries a lot.

(I know it’s not really politically correct to use that term anymore, vs developing nations.)

Mendoza is a 2nd world vs 1st world or 3rd world. And is priced accordingly.

I’d say it would be a great transition city versus Medellin, Colombia if you are coming to South America for the first time.



  • You love BBQ
  • You love safety
  • You love bicycles (lots of bike lanes here), and lots of parks.
  • You love wine
  • Great bus system
  • Cabify exists here
  • Great gyms
  • Red clay tennis courts
  • You can order food delivery


  • Cost of living is more that $1000 a month. $1500 is a better budget
  • You don’t want to learn Argentinian Spanish. It’s annoying.
  • Not that walkable, the city is big. If you’re in one area, near the center, it will still be about 10 000 steps a day to get around.

I loved Mendoza, and will 100% recommend staying here for a visit, but it’s too expensive for this budget traveler. (Also, if you come to Mendoza, stay far away from Casa del Park Hostel, worst place I’ve stayed in the world.)

All in all I hope you enjoyed this summary and if you want to read more


Can you retire cheap in Mendoza, Argentina?2019-11-06T00:18:32+00:00

How to get from Lima, Peru to Valparaíso, Chile.

I love taking the buses here in South America. They are awesome. They are either lie down 180 degree seats, or semi lie down at 140 degree seats. Super comfortable.

And if you’re retiring cheap, then you have a ton of time on your hands and not that much money.

When I looked into heading to Chile, I thought of definitely using the bus.

Till I looked at the price!

The price was the same for the bus as the plane!

And the plane was 4 hours versus 24 hours by bus.

Ok. Plane it is.

After a quick flight on Viva Air (which was surprising good….) I was in Santiago,

There they have various options on how to get to downtown. Metered cab, Tourist taxi, buses, shared shuttles.

But, I wasn’t going to Santiago downtown. I wanted to head to the nearby town of Valparaíso.

Surprising there is a bus that leaves DIRECTLY from the airport to this town. No need to go into Santiago proper at all! Hurray!

Here’s how to get there.

1. Collect your luggage. The Santiago airport is reallllllly reallllly big, it’ll take you a while to get from the plane to the luggage. Also you’re going to have to go through customs, and security.

2. After collecting your luggage. Head to exit 6. This is called Salida 6.

3. Go to the Turbus office, it’s right there at exit 6.

4. Buy your ticket. It costs so little, that I thought they didn’t understand me.

6000 pesos is the equivalent of about $12 Canadian. They take credit card, and yes that includes American Express.

5. After getting your ticket, head outside. There are all these different areas for different types of transportation. Turbus has it’s own spot. Look for the sign.

6. Get on the bus, and enjoy an awesome ride to Valparaíso …. it’s about 2 hours and the highways are smooth and not bumpy

Hope this helps you on your goal to finding the best country to retire cheap. Stay on this blog to see if Valparaiso, Chile makes the list!

How to get from Lima, Peru to Valparaíso, Chile.2019-06-28T15:54:23+00:00

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